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39 votes
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Are there animals that have evolved a resistance to human activity or encroachment?

Note: This is an answer to the last line of your question. A classical example of animals adapting to the influence of humans on their environment is the adaption of the Peppered Moth. Here is a brief ...
dtadres's user avatar
  • 666
35 votes
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Why does my room suddenly look 'reddish'? My eyes seem to adapt to color

Short answer The phenomenon you describe can be explained by the negative afterimage effect, which indeed is elicited by adaptive processes in the retinae. Background In the retina there are three ...
AliceD's user avatar
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25 votes

Are there animals that have evolved a resistance to human activity or encroachment?

Many insects (as well as some other animals) have documented resistance to pesticides. For example, the German cockroach (Blattella germanica) can be resistant to multiple insecticides1. In addition, ...
tyersome's user avatar
  • 5,598
18 votes

Are there animals that have evolved a resistance to human activity or encroachment?

Bighorn sheep are developing smaller horns and elephants are becoming tuskless in Africa: The horns of some bighorn sheep are getting smaller, because hunters are picking off the most impressive ...
Levon's user avatar
  • 281
14 votes
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Why aren't there any transitional animals today?

Every species on the planet is "transitional" - this is because there is no ultimate or final species. Species branch out from one another, sometimes species go extinct, leaving gaps between the ...
rg255's user avatar
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14 votes
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Why do humans grow taller than their ancestors?

A likely misunderstanding of yours Now we almost don't fight with other species Misunderstanding about selection As you will go through this course, you will understand why this sentence makes ...
Remi.b's user avatar
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9 votes

Do Traits Have to be Adaptive in Order to Survive?

Good question. And good analysis. I have little to add! I'll simply provide my own list of thoughts to complement your ideas, which are not mutually exclusive. The fact that it wasn't discarded ...
S Pr's user avatar
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8 votes

Empirical evidence for Group Selection?

Let's start with your definition. "Selection for traits that would be beneficial to a population of units at the expense of an individual unit possessing the trait" This is not a good definition of ...
Michael Andrew Bentley's user avatar
8 votes

Why do some bad traits evolve, and good ones don't?

All the previous answers are very good. However, I feel a point was missed (or maybe I didn't read deeply enough). I will highlight the concept of fitness landscapes. This is how it looks: The peaks ...
7 votes
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What kind of owl does this moth look like?

First of all what a nice foto! I think this is Antheraea polyphemus. According to Wikipedia, the moth has an average of 15 cm (6 in). The purplish eyespots on hind wings give its name - from the ...
L.Diago's user avatar
  • 1,863
7 votes

Why aren't there any transitional animals today?

This is just going to be a quick answer, as it's too long for a comment (I'll leave it to others to fill in the gaps if they wish). The image you present in your question is based on a false premise. ...
MattDMo's user avatar
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6 votes
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Can the apparent drop in insect population be explained by local insects evolving to avoid traps?

From your own PlosOne link comes proof that the selection pressure was very weak: "Most locations (59%, n = 37) were sampled in only one year, 20 locations in two years, five locations in three years, ...
Regret's user avatar
  • 76
5 votes

Why do some bad traits evolve, and good ones don't?

Richard Dawkins devoted an entire chapter of The Extended Phenotype to this question, Constraints on Perfection (the third chapter in the edition I have to hand); he listed six (not including those he ...
5 votes

Do any terrestrial herbivores use auditory crypsis for predator avoidance?

Does soundproofing count? Most predators locate prey using visual or olfactory cues; the only predators I can think of that use auditory cues are nocturnal ones - owls and bats. Bats, of course, use ...
arboviral's user avatar
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5 votes
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What of Gould's contributions to evolutionary biology are still accepted in the mainstream?

His main contribution was making biologist consider that population size affects how fast selection changes a population, but he tended to imply this was some form of categorical difference and not a ...
John's user avatar
  • 14.7k
5 votes

Why do humans grow taller than their ancestors?

In my opinion there is a fallacy in your understanding of evolution. First of all evolution is blind to the future. Also living organisms don't undergo evolutionary changes toward something that might ...
cezar's user avatar
  • 175
4 votes
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Are we evolving as fast as the oxygen is depleting?

Good estimates from ice core samples put the decrease in oxygen concentration at 0.7% over the last 800,000 years. At sea level, currently, inspired $P_{O2}$ is (760 mm Hg - 47) * 0.21, approximately ...
De Novo's user avatar
  • 8,791
4 votes

Why do some bad traits evolve, and good ones don't?

Let's break this down to cover your two questions individually Question 1 If a trait would be advantageous to an organism then why hasn't it evolved yet? This one is really easy, natural selection, ...
4 votes
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What is the difference between natural selection and adaptation?

Natural Selection Natural selection is the differential in survival and/or reproductive success among different individuals. As such, natural selection also refers to the process by which genotypes ...
Remi.b's user avatar
  • 68.1k
4 votes

Do Traits Have to be Adaptive in Order to Survive?

S Pr lists a number of reasons that might allow non-adaptive traits to spread. One other that's probably important in some populations is "allelic surfing". If you imagine a smallish population that ...
iayork's user avatar
  • 14.2k
4 votes

Are there animals that have evolved a resistance to human activity or encroachment?

Nightingales have adapted to city noises by singing louder. Given that one function of singing is finding a mate there must indeed be a high, direct selection pressure to make oneself heard. Other ...
Peter - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
4 votes

Does a critical mass of infected individuals exist after which mutations will overtake vaccination attempts?

Epidemiological modeling If a virus is able to change so that it renders previous vaccination inefficient, reinfecting those who were previously vaccinated, one could describe this process using ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
  • 3,852
4 votes
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Why do fish and marine mammals need special low density adaptations for buoyancy?

The answer is that air in the lungs of a diving mammal is compressed, meaning that it takes up less volume than air at the surface. This phenomenon is called "Thoracic squeeze". The deeper ...
bob1's user avatar
  • 12.4k
4 votes
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Intelligence without natural selection?

The answer is yes, but really no. It’s probably true that things were kind of laid back at first for life. But selection was still going on. A strong wave might break the membrane, a strong wind or ...
shigeta's user avatar
  • 28.3k
3 votes
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What are Some Classical Examples of Local Adaptation?

Adaptation is a change in a trait as a response to selection. As you ask for local adaptation I assume you want examples where sub-populations have either come under different selection and adapted ...
rg255's user avatar
  • 16.1k
3 votes

Do any terrestrial herbivores use auditory crypsis for predator avoidance?

I think that there are too many examples of animals being deliberately quiet when grazing to count. I'll discuss specifically the exceptions you raise and how they are exceptional. Hopefully you'll ...
James's user avatar
  • 11.3k
3 votes

Why Lungs can't work in water and gills can't work in air?

Misleading sentences in your question fishes can breathe in water (at least for few-hours) Fishes can breathe for much longer than a few hours under water as they spend their whole life underwater....
Remi.b's user avatar
  • 68.1k
3 votes

Can the apparent drop in insect population be explained by local insects evolving to avoid traps?

There are many other lines of evidence over many decades, using many techniques, all showing declines in insect populations. Climate-driven declines in arthropod abundance restructure a rainforest ...
iayork's user avatar
  • 14.2k
3 votes

Does a critical mass of infected individuals exist after which mutations will overtake vaccination attempts?

I'm going to answer this one with a No. Outside of a simple simulation with very unrealistic constraints, we can't know the basic parameters to generate such a number. From an omniscient point of ...
Mike Serfas's user avatar
  • 2,475
3 votes

Evolution of the human Y chromosome

What I want to know, is if this is a bad thing, why don't normal evolutionary forces act to prevent this? You seem to be attributing a moral value to an evolutionary process. So does the article you ...
CaroZ's user avatar
  • 414

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